PHILADELPHIA – Irfan Yusuf and the Canberra Times have issued an apology to Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, concerning a defamatory article written by Yusuf.
On August 18, 2008, the Canberra Times, an Australian newspaper, published Yusuf's "Justice the remedy required to help Bosnia heal." In it, Yusuf mentioned a speech Mr. Pipes delivered to a dinner hosted by Quadrant magazine earlier this year which was subsequently published as "Europe or Eurabia?" in the Australian newspaper. Yusuf incorrectly stated that in his speech, Mr. Pipes had
predicted Europe's next Holocaust victims would be Muslim migrants. Frighteningly, Pipes suggested that Muslims thoroughly deserved such slaughter.
Upon receipt of Mr. Pipes's protest against this sickening misrepresentation, Irfan Yusuf and the Canberra Times agreed to issue a public correction, retraction, and apology, which appeared in the newspaper's print and online editions:
The Canberra Times and Irfan Yusuf accept that Mr Pipes never predicted nor has he ever endorsed a Holocaust of European Muslims, and they unreservedly apologise to him for the errors.
Freelance journalist Jeremy Lott commented sarcastically on this, what he called "soon-to-be-a-classic" apology:
So sorry about accusing you of wanting a second Holocaust, Mr. Pipes. It was an innocent mistake. We hope you understand.
In a more serious vein, Mr. Pipes responded that "Irfan Yusuf has a history of writing inaccurately about me, something I have already noted and corrected. His having embarrassed the Canberra Times should send a signal to responsible media everywhere to decline his tendentious writings."
Brooke Goldstein, head of the MEF's Legal Project, added that "It is unacceptable for a newspaper to publish defamatory lies about Dr. Pipes. It is encouraging, however, that the Canberra Times and Irfan Yusuf have acknowledged their error."
For more information, contact Brooke Goldstein at Goldstein@MEForum.org